Hamilton has 'helped hasten' F1's push for diversity


Formula 1's efforts to become more inclusive and diverse have been significantly helped by the impact of Lewis Hamilton's personal activism.

As the only black driver in the history of the sport, Hamilton has often underscored Grand Prix racing's lack of diversity and called for more inclusion.

But events of late in America following the death last month of George Floyd have incited Hamilton to become even more vocal on racial injustice broadly, the six-time F1 world champion expressing his support on social media for the 'Black Lives Matter' movement.

Formula 1 has apparently heard Hamilton's call for more diversity, with the sport praising its most well-known representative and planning some "major announcements more broadly around diversity and inclusion" in the coming weeks according to Yath Gangakumaran, F1’s director of strategy and business development.

“I think any organisation or person who has millions of people following them has a duty in many ways to highlight any imperfections that are innate within their area," said Gangakumaran, speaking at the 2020 FIA eConference.

"I think what Lewis has done has really helped hasten some of the change we want to see within Formula 1. In a couple of weeks’ time, you’ll start to hear more publicly about what we’re going to do.

"I think the days of sports stars being told to stick to their sports as it were are over.

"You’ve seen what [Marcus] Rashford has done in the last couple of days, Raheem Sterling again using a UK example, pushing for more ethnic minority representation on sports boards, obviously Lewis as well.

"I think this is going to be a trend that will continue. Ultimately if you want to be on the right side of history, it’s important that you’re on the right side of that trend, and that you have purpose central to what you do as an organisation."


Formula 1's ambitious sustainability plans to be net zero carbon by 2030 or its recent initiative to leverage its technological expertise to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic reflect its quest to support a "societal purpose" that goes beyond racing and entertainment.

"I think ultimately if we go back to the first principles, the whole purpose around F1 initially is around entertaining fans, so we need to ensure we have that front and centre of everything we do," explained Gangakumaran.

"What's been really pleasing to see in the last several years, and particularly in this current coronavirus period, is wider societal purpose really coming to the fore.

"To give you an example of what else F1 can do outside of pushing sustainability credentials and pushing diversity and inclusion to reflect the world in which we race, we have this incredible technology and amazing engineers and scientists within F1.

"If we can apply some of that technology to major humanitarian crises, hopefully we can have a small positive impact in terms of other societal issues in terms of what the world is dealing with."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter